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Lasith Malinga opts out of IPL 2020; Mumbai Indians sign James Pattinson as replacement

Mumbai Indians announced the signing of Australian pacer James Pattinson as the replacement for Lasith Malinga as the Sri Lankan veteran had to opt out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons.

“James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season,” MI owner Akash Ambani said.

“Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time,” he added.

Malinga had made his IPL debut for the franchise in 2009 and has been associated with them since then. He is the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL as well. Malinga has taken 170 wickets in a total of 122 IPL matches at an excellent average and economy rate of 19.80 and 7.14 respectively.

Pattinson, though, is yet to play his maiden IPL game. But the MI management have full faith in him. He is supposed to join the camp in Dubai over the weekend.

The Australian pacer will have big shoes to fill. Malinga has been a great asset for MI over the years, he had defended 9 runs in the last over of the final last year to help MI to their fourth IPL title.

IPL 2020 is set to commence on September 19. The schedule of the tournament, though, is yet to be announced.

Prasenjit Dey is freelance cricket journalist based out of Kolkata, India. Cricket runs through his veins and writing has always been his passion. He is now a part of both worlds, trying to make a difference by writing on the nitty-gritty of the game.

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